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Marlo Asks the Experts: Social Media Secrets
Between taking care of clients AND running a business, social media can seem like a second (or third) job. And while it may feel like an optional component of your professional success, social media = free marketing (not to mention it can help you reach other goals like collabing with your favorite brands or getting a career-boosting feature on an industry page). So don’t sleep on it!
How do you take advantage of this free marketing tool without letting it overwhelm you? We asked three social media-savvy beauty pros - @alyssanoursehair, @hilarydawnherrera and @heatherpaints_hair - to share their secrets to success so YOU can take advantage of all the opportunities social media has to offer!
What is your approach to social media?
Alyssa: I look at social media less as a marketing tool for clients (mostly because that will manifest either way) and more as a platform to build relationships and to be part of a solid community by getting to know other stylists from all over and creating a space where you feel like everyone just wants to cheer you on. I have “met” so many people I care so much about without actually ever meeting them, but by constantly supporting each other on IG and complimenting each other’s work. This is how I’ve been able to build such a following - by building relationships.
Hilary: Be sure your posts help you achieve your goal. Do you want clients? Do you want to teach? Do you want to be featured in magazines? Make sure your activity on social media reflects that.
Heather: Initially my approach with social media was to gain clients. Growing a clientele twice (first in New Mexico and then in Texas) would have been more difficult if not for Instagram. Since I now have a sturdy clientele, I use IG as a creative gallery and sometimes an educational platform.
How often do you post?
Alyssa: I try to post at least once per day. Sometimes it’s less if I’m slammed behind the chair or just need a break from social (which is necessary sometimes!).
Hilary: Daily! Instagram is my priority platform as I feel it provides a great digital portfolio and I like the creative tools available on it. I post Instagram stories every day and try to post at least one to three times on my grid, but that can change depending on how much is going on in my stories.
Heather: Since quarantine started I don’t post as often as I should to stay current, but I would say I post about one to four times a week.
What sorts of posts get the best engagement?
Alyssa: My big transformation posts get the most engagement, but people love to see good hair! So any perfect shot gets me likes/comments.
Hilary: I think it’s more about the time of the day and the day of the week that matter (so find out when your audience is most engaged), or if a look is particularly trending at the moment.
Heather: I have noticed that my posts with vibrant, vivid hair color get the most likes. The posts that get the most comments are the ones where I am blatantly honest about any mistakes I made during the service.
How does social media affect your business?
Alyssa: About 80% to 90% of my clientele found me from IG. It’s been the most game-changing tool for my business.
Hilary: Social media is free advertising and is VITAL to use. I have focused on nail and business education with my social media and it helps me reach those who are after that. My employees at Lacquered Loft find they can build their books quickly if they use their social media pages.
Heather: I have absolutely received clients from social media and still do! Instagram specifically is an amazing search engine for my finding service providers. When I moved to Texas nearly three years ago, IG was my main way of getting potential clients to notice me.
Share a link to one of your best social posts. Why do you think it was so effective?
Alyssa: This post just blew up! The funny thing is it never got reposted by any pages! People just genuinely loved the color and style! I think part of it is that people are drawn to cooler tones - maybe because it’s hard for a lot of people to have cooler tones so it makes it more desirable. My secret here is that she actually has extensions that create the bright blonde ends.
Hilary: This post was topical (I posted it leading up to Valentine’s day), it had a call to action (I asked a question) and it also played off a neutral look, which is liked by many.
Heather: This post not only had a lot of saves and shares, but my clients talked about it to me for weeks! I think it was successful because of how extreme it is - you have two completely different ends of the hair color spectrum here. And the color, while being easy on the eyes, is unconventional and balanced.
Do you encourage clients to post photos and tag you?
Alyssa: My clients usually tag me in their selfies, which I love!
Hilary: Yes that is amazing! Plus I can share it as well and tag them and it goes round and round and everyone wins!
Heather: Absolutely! I love when my clients show their hair appreciation through a selfie post.
What other ways do you use social media to promote your business/services?
Alyssa: I promote myself on IG to brands that I want to work with as an influencer/brand ambassador/educator. It’s a great way to show your skills without the pressure of interviews and applications like you would have to do in a non-IG world 😜.
Hilary: I host giveaways and share personal things, which allows me to relate to my followers and humanizes us all from behind the screen. I personally share a ton of video tutorials as well.
Heather: When I am actively seeking new clients, I will take advantage of IG promotions.
Is there any special equipment you’ve invested in to improve your social game?
Alyssa: Really all I need is good lighting. I have a ring light and backdrop, but I hardly ever use them because I’m picky about how my photos look. I think they look more organic and true to color when taken with no background and with perfect, indirect lighting. I use my iPhone 12 Pro for my photos.
Hilary: A fabulous phone and good internet connection is all you need. Some apps to edit can help, as well as lighting and a phone mount. No need to make it too complicated!
Heather: I’ve often thought of getting the fancy equipment for my social media use...Part of me still wants to, but I’m content with the humble tools I’ve used since the beginning!
Is there any other advice you would give beauty pros just getting started on social media?
Alyssa: I highly suggest taking a course on social media! My suggestion I give to everyone is to take the @behindthechair_com Social Climbing 101 course on BTC University! It’s 10 hours or everything you need to know about social media! With algorithms and expectations of engagement changing so often, to know the ins and outs of IG will accelerate your success on the platform and you’ll see growth almost immediately!
Hilary: Document content, post consistently, and be social!
Want more social media advice? Read this: Salon Social Media Ideas That'll Get More Likes, Comments & Clients on Instagram!